1 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

Another busy day for me and a lot of waiting for Patches. We went to town and I parked at Cochise Dental Care where I had an appointment for 8:00am. We did a little shorter walk from there and I was ready for the appointment by about 7:20 but the office doors did not open until 7:45.

Got the new patient paperwork filled out (I do that about 2X a year) and they called me soon after. I was very surprised that my hygienist was an African-American/Black/Negro and was doubly surprised that the hygienist was a male. I can not remember ever seeing an African-American/Black/Negro on any dental staff in any of the many offices that I have been in. He did a good job and I hope to have him clean my teeth again in April.

New patients in the state of Arizona must have an xray and an exam. Since I had two xrays this year they let that slide but I did get the exam. I have a molar with a filling that is showing some cracks which could have the tooth break at any time, I have had 2,3,4(?) do exactly that over the years. Will take my chances for now but probably need to spend the big bucks in Mar-Apr when I come back to Sierra Vista.

I went from there to Monsoon PC. They still did not have a keyboard for my laptop. I told them that I could not wait, after waiting two weeks, and needed to get a refund for the keyboard charge. Got that and was on my way.

Later in the day when I stopped at Fry's for groceries I went next door to Staples. I asked about them replacing the keyboard and they said that if I brought in the replacement it would take about an hour. That is now what I am going to do. I'll order a keyboard in March and have it replaced soon after I get back to Sierra Vista.

From Monsoon I went to Country Kitchen for breakfast where I had an Omelet and some good home fries. This is a restaurant that is close to D & J RV Center and Ramsey Canyon Feed. This made it easy, and not much out of my way, to stop there before picking up three 24# bags of Canidae Pure Elements. This is Patches' food for the 3+ months that we will be gone from Sierra Vista and I'll need to get more soon after returning.

The low temperature this morning was 39° a little less than the forecast and I don't think the high is going to reach the expected 68. A 60% chance of rain on Thursday and the high temperatures from then until I leave are now to be in the mid to upper 60s. My next camp has forecast that are about 10° warmer for the highs and the lows during that same period so I am moving in the right direction.

2 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

Today was as much a do nothing day as yesterday was busy. That is a good thing, we needed to do some down time.

I did get out and dump my holding tanks and add fresh water. As I was starting to do that my neighbor from a couple spaces over came over and we chatted for a while. He had stopped me a few days ago and asked about living on the road with a dog.

Today he told me that he had gone to the Sierra Vista Shelter the day after Thanksgiving to see about adopting a dog but they were closed. I told him that they were sure to be open today. I'm willing to bet that he has a dog before I leave here.

I took this latest book to the Club House this morning and traded for an unknown, to me, mystery author. As I said before there was not a lot to choose from so I concentrated on volume and the one I picked has that if nothing else.

I found a lot of what Taita claimed to know and to have done to be a great story line for the 'gamers' out there, be it a stand alone or on-line game. The Weekly review covers the book very well I just think it is an understatement when they say "Somehow, this doesn't ring true." I would like to read some more of his books however simply because they are historical fiction. But maybe not so far back in history.

leftpic A bestselling writer in England but not as yet well-known here, Smith ( Elephant Song ) may attract a wider audience with this compulsively readable historical novel based on the little-known facts behind the Hyksos invasion of Egypt, circa 1780 B.C. Containing all the standard elements of great adventure--intrigue, romance, greed, cruelty and furious action--the yarn is spun by the clever eunuch Taita, who reports on events with an irony akin to a 20th-century sensibility. Taita is the slave of Egypt's scheming Grand Vizier Lord Intef, whose daughter Lostris is in love with Tanus, a young army officer whose father's demise was brought about by Intef's greed. Knowing of his daughter's love, Intef devises a plan for her to become the bride of Pharaoh Mamose. These maneuvers set the stage for the story of two warring Nile kingdoms, the arrival of the Hyksos and the ultimate exodus of the Egyptian court, now ruled by Queen Lostris. Taita is a curious creation. We know that he is clever and wise, but we don't know how he became so learned or what his country of origin is. The brilliant slave invented a system for calculating the rise and ebb of the Nile, is extremely knowledgeable in the ways of healing, improves upon the wheel and trains horses (both of which were brought to Egypt by the invading Hyksos). He is also clever enough to manipulate the Pharaoh into believing that he is the father of Prince Regent Memnon, the offspring of a forbidden tryst between Lostris and Tanus. Somehow, this doesn't ring true. At times the prose is curiously flat and juvenile (it could be Everyday Life In Ancient Egypt), but the events covered in this narrative have enough intrinsic interest to sustain the reader through to the rewarding and satisfying conclusion. An author's afterword claims that this is a rewritten version of scrolls discovered in a tomb newly opened in 1988. - Publishers Weekly

3 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

After we finished our afternoon walk yesterday I cooked up a pot of 'stuff'. Don't have a name for this latest creation and will not know if it is something I will ever do again. I'll have a better idea after I eat some of it for 'linner' today. However it turns out - I have a lot of it.

What I did is I used up the remaining buttermilk from last weeks creation by bringing it to a boil with 6 small-medium yellow squash and 8 seeded and chunked jalapeño. To that I added 50 oz of hominy, 2 pounds of browned off sausage and 15 oz of low fat Ricatta. Brought that mixture back to a boil for a few minutes and then into the Thermal Cooker overnight. I may have to re-heat a serving today or it may still be warm enough.

leftpic I am bumping up against my monthly Verizon broadband plan limit so have not built any maps during the past couple of days. I don't know for sure how much difference that makes but I have been pushing my limit every month since I started building them so I know that is chewing up some of my limit.

That gave me more time on the couch with Patches and my book. I think I'll finish the one I'm reading now and with any luck be able to trade it for one of the few books here in the Park exchange library that looked good.

2014 Is Now The Worst Year For US Macro Data Performance Since 2008 is the headline of the same story on many websites. But, only Monty Perlerin's World used this cartoon as a header for the story. I do not copy many of the cartoons that I see but this one is so "Right On" that I could not resist.

4 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

The pot of 'stuff' that I cooked up was rather tasty. I did not re-heat the serving yesterday, it was still warm enough to eat and I think when re-heated it will be even better. I do have a lot of it. I could have made my usual 6 'linners' with about half the ingredients.

The weather guessers got it right. They forecast rain on Thursday and here it Thursday and soon after we stepped outside this morning it started to rain. A very light rain that Patches would have loved to stay out in but she was getting dog shaking wet and so was I. We did a short potty walk and back onto the couch for both of us.

My neighbor on the west side, that has been gone for about 10 days, returned yesterday afternoon. He has a Classic Airstream parked next to me but when he returned he was towing a Jayco Octane toy hauler. I don't know if there are any toys in the hauler but he now has two trailers, a Subaru Outback and a pickup at this location and from what I have seen he is alone. Just moving them around would be a logistic nightmare for me.

I finished the book that I was reading, I'll get a review posted in a day or two. This morning I went to the Club House and traded it for a Leon Uris novel. I could have got another Sandford but have two unread in my library at this time and Uris is the better author.

This News did not merit headline treatment by any of the media that make up the Ministry of Propaganda. It was reported by MarketWatch, an online news source of Dow Jones & Co, in this country with an article It’s official: America is now No. 2 by Brett Arends. The President has not completed his transformation of the United States but he can point to this with pride when he writes his legacy.

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.
It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.
The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.
5 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: December 5, 1926

We had another busy day and it is not finished. The day started out normally with a long walk and then our breakfast. I then read all my Daily blogs and scanned the News.

The busy part started around 10:00 when we went to town and I stopped at an ATM to get some cash. I use very little cash, use my Credit Card for almost all purchases, but sometime cash is required and I was almost out. Then went to my dentist office and scheduled an appointment to crown a molar that has cracks. Big bucks but what can you do?

The next stop was for a hair cut were I used some of the newly withdrawn cash. I'm hoping that this one lasts me until March when I'll stop at this shop again for the spring cutting.

I then went to the VA again to see if I could do something about an appointment and Secure Messaging. This is a chicken and the egg conundrum. I can not get an appointment today for a date in March, too early. I can not get connected to the Sierra Vista Secure Messaging until I have the appointment. So, I can not contact the VA in Sierra Vista to request an appointment or ask them if one has been set.

I was referred to the supervisor and he said that they would send me an email when the appointment was set. He also gave me his email which I can use IF I don't receive notice by the first of February. Maybe I will get this straightened out for an appointment in March and then again I may not.

Last but not least I went to PetSmart and bought Patches a new food dish. A couple of days ago I dropped my hair brush and it broke a big chunk out of her plastic dish. Not sure how it did it but there was a hole in her dish and a crack almost all the way across it.

I'll be staying in Sierra Vista until later this afternoon. Have a late lunch date with a blogger friend that I have never met before. I have been following her blog for 2-3 years and exchanged a few emails. She was the person that referred me to Border Rescue when I was looking for a shelter that would take Patches if I were to die. She has a pack of rescued dogs and just recently rescued a small terrier mix that was in very bad shape from the streets of a town in Mexico.

This was my second book by John Sandford, a pseudonym used by John Camp, and I have two more from his Prey Series in my unread library. As I said on 5 November 2014 about the first one of his that I read, Eyes of Prey - I like Lucas. It appears that the book 'formula' is to disclose who the villain is at the beginning of the story and the suspense, story line, is how Lucas goes about finding out who 'done it' and bringing them to justice. Not great literature but good entertaining reads.

leftpic The 13th title in the Prey series (Easy Prey, etc.) has wealthy Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Lucas Davenport in up to his Porsche-driving fingertips. Lucas is trying to track an elusive serial killer while reuniting with former fiance, Weather Karkinnen who after a couple of years' estrangement following her narrow escape from a crazy biker in one of Lucas's former cases has suddenly decided she wants to have his baby. Weather is a formidable distraction, but the killer revealed to readers from the beginning as James Qatar, a suave professor of art history with a yen for strangulation proves to require even more attention. Soon after the body of a young blonde is found in a partially excavated grave on a remote wilderness hillside, a deputy sheriff from backwater Wisconsin shows up with a file containing case histories of several women reported missing in Wisconsin and Minnesota over a nine-year period. Fearing the worst, Lucas orders the hillside surveyed; subsequent excavation uncovers seven more bodies. The art world connections of some of the victims and the discovery of pornographic drawings suggests a link to the art community around the local Catholic university. As the net tightens, the usually coolheaded Qatar, already plotting the fate of a daring fabric artist in cahoots with the police, gradually loses control. With Lucas and his team watching his every move, he eludes surveillance and carries out a final desperate attack. Sandford is in top form here, his wry humor and his development of Lucas's combative, affectionate relationship with Weather lighting up the dark of another grisly investigation. - Publishers Weekly

6 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

I met Debra a blogger/email friend, that writes Find an Outlet, for the first time yesterday afternoon. We talked for almost an hour at Angelika'a German Imports & Deli where I had a very large Brat on a hard roll with some disappointing potato salad. It was rather flavorless. Her sandwich looked much better.

I was not disappointed with our conversation; she is the same honest, straight forward speaker that comes across in her writing. She has lived in Bisbee since 2006 and knows this area much better than I do. I know the geography and the history but she knows what it is to live her NOW. It is not what you will usually read on blogs that do a windshield tour of Bisbee and take some 'purdy' pictures of the unique 'old town' that is being yuppiefied.

We moved on from the Deli to Desperado where she got to meet Patches. Patches was her usual crazy self when there are new people on the scene but calmed down quickly and even laid down while we were talking some more. Such a Good Dog.

I then provided a tour of Desperado. What that means is we stood by the entrance door and look around. Answered some questions about taking on water and dumping and showed off the newly installed basement heater. More socializing than I have done for months. HA

Patches and I were late getting back to the Park so we did a short potty walk. That makes the past two days some of the shortest walking days that we have done in a long, long time. I'm thinking about doing a longer afternoon walk today but will see if that thought is still there after I do some housecleaning this morning.

I got the bathroom cleaned, I once again bless the porcelain toilet versus plastic, and vacuumed the bathroom and kitchen. Took a coffee break. Then went back at it and got the floor washed in those two rooms. Another coffee break. Put everything back on the bathroom and kitchen floor, vacuum the living room and call it quits for the day.

The Bureau of Labor released their non-farm job numbers for November yesterday that showed an increase of 321,000 jobs. The Ministry of Propaganda is spinning this as great News but have less to say about the Unemployment Rate remaining at 5.8%.

The CES Birth/Death Model adjustments in November and December are historically small decreases but this year November was an increase of 8,000. That makes 741,000 jobs 'created' by the CES adjustments of the 2,734,000 increase in jobs reported during during the past 12 months.

All of the previously reported numbers are re-adjusted during the year with the largest adjustments to be made in December. I have copied the statement made by the BOL. What they mean is they will make the number look however the Administration wants and the December numbers will be meaningless. This is nothing new, it has been going on since President Clinton, maybe before.

In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for December 2014, scheduled for January 9, 2015, will incorporate annual revisions in seasonally adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most recent 5 years are subject to revision.
Hold on: Jobs report wasn't so great after all by Jeff Cox for CNBC Online throws some cold water on the Media exuberance but he does report what some of the Ponzi scheme shills are saying
Analysts, though, mostly gushed over the report.
Fixed income strategist David Harris at Schroders said it was "unquestionably strong and significantly exceeded expectations." Economist Lindsey Piegza at Sterne Agee called it "impressive," while Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics termed the headline gain "massive" with "labor market conditions improving at breakneck speed."
If you look at the Household Data for November the number of Employed increased by 4,000 which is the sixth consecutive monthly increase but nothing that merits gushing over. There was a 115,000 increase in Unemployed as well as an increase of 69,000 in the Not in the Labor Force.

Neither of these increases were enough to change the Unemployment Rate but neither is a sign of a strong and improving job market nor would they merit being gushed over. That increase in the Not in the Labor Force was not enough to change the Participation Rate which remained at 62.8% which is no improvement.

The average earnings increased by 9¢ to $24.66 an hour, while the average workweek remained at 34.6 hours. This wage inflation will provide the Federal Reserve with the data they need to support their decision to increase rates. Look for average earnings to move up every month thru the first quarter of 2015.

7 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

The neighbor west of me has left. This was the the fellow that had two trailers and two vehicles here that I wrote about. I think it was the day after he brought the toy hauler in that I saw him arrive with a woman that was wife/girlfriend/relative. The day after that he left with the toy hauler leaving the woman here.

He then returned with only the truck, the bed empty of whatever had been in there covered with a tarp. The woman took the Outback and left and then yesterday the fellow spent all morning washing the Airstream. Finished that just in time for it to get rained on while he was hooking up to leave. The two bicycles that had been chained to a tree between our spaces where moved for the first time since I have been here. When I say moved what I mean is they were put in the back of the truck when he left - never saw either of them ridden.

It was entertaining to watch the logistic of getting all those vehicles in and out of here. I now also have a much better view of the Whetstone Mountains to the west and north. The Park Office is blocking some of that mountain view but I now have a view of the Park Office. HA

It was not in the forecast but we got rain yesterday afternoon and it felt much colder. We went for a shorter walk in the afternoon because it looked like it would rain more at any moment and there was a cold wind blowing. Clear today but it is slow in warming up to the expected high of 67°.

This morning I got the two cab side windows cleaned up. They were both a mess with dog slobber and nose prints. Usually it is only the passenger side but Patches has had to do a lot of waiting for me these past few weeks and she does much of that from the driver seat. Took a coffee break. Then got the dash wiped down. That takes care of my housecleaning, and most of my chores before leaving here.

I may finish the Deaver book that I have been reading today. If not today, then tomorrow for sure. I'll get the review done in a day or two and hopefully make a good trade at the Park exchange library. That will fill my library with unread books which is good since I have no idea what might be available for the next 3 months.

It has started. President Obama is getting a public owned facilities named after him just like many of our previous presidents. Maybe not his addition to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, as he believes his due, but North Dakota is doing what the can to provide a memorial. As for Joe Blough, I think he best get his financial records together for the past 3 years in anticipation of an IRS audit soon.

In an overwhelming 35-10 vote, the state Senate advanced a bill naming a 650-acre site currently under construction after the nation’s 44th president. Governor Jack Dalrymple is expected to sign the measure into law Tuesday.
When completed, the Barack Obama Memorial Landfill will be the largest waste disposal site in North Dakota, and the 17th largest in the United States. It will be especially rich in toxic waste from the local petroleum and medical industries.
“We wanted to do something to honor the president,” says Republican State Senator Doug Perlman, who was the lead sponsor of the bill. “And I think a pile of garbage is a fitting tribute to Obama’s presidency.
Ordinary citizens in the state also seem to approve of the government’s choice. “I can’t think of a better name,” says Joe Blough, a plumber from Minot. “It’s darkly colored and it's full of shit. That pretty much sums up Obama.”
8 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

Patches was a sick dog last night. Air licking, carpet licking and throwing up. She probably found something to eat as we were walking and I did not catch her doing it. Then later in the night, or early hours of the morning, when I got up I checked on her and she had been chewing on her left rear foot. Had a good part of one pad all bloody. I don't know what that was about but I don't think the two things are related.

The foot is sore this morning so we did a shorter walk with her carrying that leg most of the time. She got no breakfast this morning and will be doing another short afternoon walk. I'll then give her some dinner and see if it stays down. She did not sleep much last night but seems to be catching up this morning.

I did finish the Deaver book yesterday and went to the Park library early this morning to effect a trade. The book that I saw there before that I wanted to pick up was gone but I did find a J. A. Jance. I have enjoyed her books in the past so it was a good trade.

This was the third book by Jeffery Deaver that I have read. The other two were Garden of Beasts reviewed on 19 March 2014 and A Maiden's Grave reviewed on 25 May 2014. I liked both of those more than this one. "Tate and his wife are forgettable heroes" is somewhat of an understatement and "feisty Megan's gripping POV" a bit of an overstatement by the Weekly. They sum it up well by saying "This isn't Deaver's most accomplished novel" but that will not keep me from selecting another book of his if I can find one.

leftpic Before he launched his praised and popular series about quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme (The Empty Chair, etc.), Deaver made his reputation with tricky, stylish thrillers such as Praying for Sleep and Manhattan Is My Beat. This slick novel is a throwback to those books and Deaver's first wholly outside the Rhyme universe since A Maiden's Grave. The basic plot is simple. An insane but intensely charismatic psychiatrist, Aaron Matthews, for reasons revealed only near book's end, kidnaps his patient, alienated Megan McCall, the young adult daughter of former Virginia prosecutor Tate Collier, and imprisons her in an abandoned mental institution. Tate and his estranged wife go looking for Megan and enlist the cops in their search. Much violence ensues. Deaver's characters are workable but not deep, though there's some psychological probing along the fault lines dividing Tate, his wife and their daughter. The novel's primary appeal arises from its thrills, which are plentiful. Like James Patterson, Deaver writes dialogue-driven prose, in short, strong sentences and paragraphs that demand little from the reader while seizing attention to the max. Tate and his wife are forgettable heroes, but Deaver tells some of the story from feisty Megan's gripping POV, as she fights back against her captor, a one dandy villain who delights in conning others through disguise and misdirection, allowing for plenty of plot curves. This isn't Deaver's most accomplished novel but it's high-energy entertainment. - Publishers Weekly

John F. Kennedy in Today’s World in Monty Pelerin's World makes a good argument that JFK's policies were closer to those of the Tea Party than they are to either the Republican or Democratic Party of today. But it was his opening and closing paragraphs that I agree with so wholeheartedly.

Politics is vastly different from the politics that I first became aware of. Both parties have abandoned any sense of principle, at least with respect to honoring the Constitution. Instead of acting on first principles, all decisions are made on the basis of political principles. In that regard, both parties honor only one principle — do whatever is necessary to maximize the chance to get, or to stay, in office.
Today we have two parties running away from the principles of the Constitution and the economic principles that created the wealthiest and freest nation on earth. Today it is assumed that we work for the political class and not the other way around.
9 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

Patches is back to eating well so the stomach upset has been resolved. The foot pad has not grown back and she is still carrying that leg. This morning she did put some weight on it from time to time during our shortened walk. I still do not know what happened but half of the biggest pad is gone and I think she chewed it off but do not know why. Perhaps there was a thorn in it but she was not limping at all prior to my finding her licking it in the middle of the night.

I did a web search and this is a much more common problem than I would have thought. A lot of different causes any one of them may have been the cause in Patches' case. I just need to keep a watch on it to see that it does not get infected and she should be fine but it looks like it is going to take some time. Reduced walks for both of us but she wants to walk and will drive me crazy if we don't do some even with her on three legs.

Compared the 10 Day forecast here with that for my next camp and see that I am moving into temperatures that are nearly 10° warmer for both the high and low. I hope the weather guessers are right because the mid 60s for a high and the mid 40s as a low is fine with me.

Adam Smith had the following to say about gold and silver prices in his The Wealth of Nations. What he did not foresee was the effect that a futures market would have and how the prices could be manipulated. Nor did he foresee the day when gold and silver would be replaced by fiat money. However, over the long term I believe that what he said will hold true even in the face of those 'modern' changes. What I don't know is how long will the 'long term' be; my portfolio is waiting. HA

The quantity of brass and iron annually brought from the mine to the market, is out of all proportion greater than that of gold and silver. We do not, however, upon this account, imagine that those coarse metals are likely to multiply beyond the demand, or to become gradually cheaper and cheaper. Why should we imagine that the precious metals are likely to do so? The coarse metals, indeed, though harder, are put to much harder uses, and, as they are of less value, less care is employed in their preservation. The precious metals, however, are not necessarily immortal any more than they, but are liable, too, to be lost, wasted, and consumed, in a great variety of ways. The price of all metals, though liable to slow and gradual variations, varies less from year to year than that of almost any other part of the rude produce of land: and the price of the precious metals is even less liable to sudden variations than that of the coarse ones. The durableness of metals is the foundation of this extraordinary steadiness of price.
10 December
Quail Ridge RV Resort
Huachuca City, AZ
no pic

Patches was walking better this morning. While she is inside Desperado, where she has some carpet, she is almost always putting weight on the wounded foot. Jumping around much more and is able to jump up onto the couch whereas she struggled the past couple of days to climb up there and I had to help her a few times.

We went to town and did a little over 1 mile walk with her using that foot on the ground about half the time. It looks better and must not be as sore. It is still going to be a little while longer until she is completely healed but she is getting there.

When we got back to Desperado from our walk she got breakfast and I went to Caffé O Lé to have mine. I got the Rise and Shine again which is going to have to last me until March when I can get it once more.

Last stop at Fry's this trip to get groceries. It is just as well that I decided that I would not use my Reward Card to get gas. The station has been torn down and they are just clearing the lot in preparation for re-building.

The first thing I did when we got back to the Park was dump holding tanks and take on fresh water. The only household chore that remains is to wipe down the stove and counter top after I eat 'linner'.

The second thing that I did was brown off some Country Style Ribs that I then added to potatoes that had been boiled almost done. Brought the pot back to a boil for a few minutes and into the Thermal Cooker until I get ready to leave tomorrow morning. I'll re-heat a serving tomorrow, and a few more days, with some sauerkraut for my 'linners'.

11 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

We did an in-the-Park walk again this morning, what we have been doing since Patches' foot problem. Just a little less than 1 mile and she did about half of it walking on the painful foot. That shorter walk let us get on the road around 6:30.

Stopped at Denny's Diner in Tucson, the only Denny's that I have ever found that was built as a replica diner. There are probably others, I just have never found them. I had their Ultimate Skillet as a change from the usual Santa Fe that I get and like the Santa Fe better.

Stopped at Casino Del Sol to fill up with gas and paid more than what I was seeing posted at some of the stations that I drove past. It was a Chevron station that is almost always higher but I thought that an Indian station would be less. It is probably NOT an Indian station, the land just being leased from the tribe. I need to find a cheaper station in Tucson to do my fill ups.

I made a 3x5 card for my route a few days ago although I have driven this route enough that I know it without the card. What I do not know are the road numbers without writing them down so I can provide them in this posting. The route today was 183 miles on: AZ82, AZ83, Sahuarita Rd, Nogales Hwy/Bus I-19, Valencia Rd & pic

It was only 70° when we arrived at noon but when we did a short walk around the Park to select our site it felt much warmer. I have all my windows open now and there is a slight breeze which feels wonderful. Tomorrow is forecast to be even warmer at 77° but then it is going to cool down into the 60s for the high during the remainder of the 10 Day Forecast. Very nice!

I had my Amazon order waiting for me here when I checked in. The most important things in the order were 1000 poop bags. I have a hard time finding them in most of the small towns where I stay. Then when I do find them they are very expensive. The price of the 1000 was a little over what I would pay for 200 in a store IF I could find any.

I'll have more to say about the Park in the days to come. I'll probably be here in this Park until February unless I find something that I can not live with during the next 2-3 weeks. The Park is about 3/4 full now and I have an open space on each side and behind me that I know are reserved and will fill up soon. Nothing in front of me to the north and a nice view of the desert and some small hills.

12 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: December 12, 1926

There are some walking trails that go out into the desert to the north and east from our space. They will have to wait for a little while until Patches is able to handle the rougher ground. She is doing much better when on pavement or cement but doesn't want to put her foot down on rough rocks. Acting like the Patches of old while in Desperado so that makes me feel better.

I had some of my Country Style Ribs yesterday for 'linner' and they were cut with a fork tender. I payed more for them than I usually do but they are well worth the price. I forgot to buy any butter so the potatoes were not as good as what I have made in the past. I think I'll add a dab of ricatta cheese to them today and see if that makes up for the lack of butter. I have been adding some to my breakfast scramble with egg whites and it makes for a nice creamy scrambled egg.

I have settled in quickly to doing what I have come to do best - nothing. The past month in Sierra Vista was filled with too many appointments, too many trips to town and spending too much money. I need some quiet, down time. the only thing that I did today that was anywhere close to outside my usual routine was to get started on Will Rogers week article links.

The big News of the day was the House passage of the CROmnibus bill that funds the federal government through fiscal year 2015. It was a great victory for the Establishment in both parties and for President Obama. His policies were rejected at the voting booth in November but they were accepted by the bipartisan Establishment in the House.

The omnibus government funding bill permits the administration to spend money implementing Obamacare and Obama's planned unilateral actions that will effectively amnesty as many as five million illegal aliens. These were two of the hot button issues that many of the newly elected Republican Representatives campaigned against but had no vote since they will not be seated until January. The Establishment and President Obama have clearly told the voters "Go to Hell, we are going to do what we want".

There was some good news about silver released yesterday. They must have read my posting on 9 December 2014. HSBC (fourth largest bank in the world, formerly the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) said it looks for the global silver market to swing to a deficit of 11 million ounces in 2015 from a tiny surplus of 3 million ounces in 2014. Mine supply is likely to fall in 2015 after years of steady increases and a small but persistent deficit should limit further price declines.

Will Falling Oil Prices Crash the Markets? subtitle Shale Leads the Way by Mike Whitney for The Unz Review is a good article about what the drop in oil prices may lead to. He also writes about how the drop came to be quoting liberally from an article written by Dr. Jack Rasmus. Rasmus, Ph.D Political Economy, teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California as well as being the author of various nonfiction and fictional books.

Rasmus also believes that the current oil-glut is politically motivated. Washington’s powerbrokers persuaded the Saudis to flood the market with petroleum to push down prices and crush oil-dependent Moscow. The US wants a weak and divided Russia that will comply with US plans to increase its military bases in Central Asia and allow NATO to be deployed to its western borders. Here’s Rasmus again:
“Saudi Arabia and its neocon friends in the USA are targeting both Iran and Russia with their new policy of driving down the price of oil. The impact of oil deflation is already severely affecting the Russian and Iranian economies. In other words, this policy of promoting global oil price deflation finds favor with significant political interests in the USA, who want to generate a deeper disruption of Russian and Iranian economies for reasons of global political objectives. It will not be the first time that oil is used as a global political weapon, nor the last.” Washington’s strategy is seriously risky. There’s a good chance the plan could backfire and send stocks into freefall wiping out trillions in a flash.
13 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

The big storm that blew through California reached me this morning around 3:30. If I had not been awake I probably would not have heard it rain and it didn't rain for long but there are a few puddles that provide the evidence. The closest weather station reports 0.18" which is probably close to what fell here. A lot of scattered clouds remain but the forecast is predicting only a slight chance of any more rain.

If I had not heard it rain I would have known that it did as soon as we stepped out of Desperado to go for our morning walk. I love the smell of rain on the creosote bushes in the morning.

We did almost a 2 mile walk this morning and Patches had her bad foot on the pavement almost the entire time. She still carries the foot when she is on rough gravel/stones but walks normal on cement and pavement unless she tries to go a little fast. If she pick up the speed a little then she has to carry the foot. Something to do with how much pressure she it putting on it is my guess.

The book that I been reading is one that I read before. I was about 100 pages into it and thought that it was familiar but then by the time I was about half way through it I knew that I had read it. I now remember who 'done it' but don't remember the details so it is still an enjoyable read. I'll probably finish it tomorrow.

I glanced in the laundry room the day that I arrived and saw a very small exchange library. I don't expect much from it but maybe will find a trade or two while I am here. If not I have enough unread books to last me for 2-3 months. The problem will then be; Where can I do a trade? I may have to stop at a couple of town libraries.

14 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

Colder this morning and I wished that I had worn my wool cap and gloves before we finished our walk. The low has been in the upper 40s since I have arrived and then it went to 43° this morning. Not as cold as what it was at Quail Ridge but there I had the good sense to wear my cap and gloves.

We did about half of the morning walk on a trail leading east out of the Park to the desert. It was still rather dark so I did not see much but we will do it again this afternoon. I wanted to see if Patches could walk on the trail and she did as well as she has been doing on pavement. I think she is a lot better, only carries the foot occasionally now. The pad has not grown back but that is going to take some time.

I had two huge Class As come in and sandwich my space at 1:00 this afternoon. I knew the spaces on each side of me were reserved and would fill up but was hoping for smaller Class C rigs. I don't want to pre-judge my new neighbors but I have not found to have very much in common with RVers that live either full time or part time in Class As. The more expensive of these two appears to be a fulltimer with the other one probably a snowbird from Washington.

leftpic I finished this Tami Hoag book yesterday and found that I had not read it before. The one that I had read was Guilty As Sin which was a sequel to this one. I knew 'who done it' because of that sequel. If you are going to read this book do so before reading 'Guilty'. I am sure that I did not like it as well because I read it out of order. I did like Megan but not Mitch so much nor the romantic suspense. Hoag's later suspense novels move away from the romantic genre somewhat, that being what she wrote before focusing on mystery/suspense.

This well-crafted romantic suspense novel by the author of Lucky's Lady (Bantam, 1992) is a tautly written account of life in a small Minnesota town. Megan O'Malley, the first female field officer of the state's criminal investigation bureau, is forced into a close working relationship with Mitch Holt, the town's police chief, when a child goes missing. Against the background of a multijurisdictional criminal investigation, dialog and plot flow smoothly, and elements of romantic tension that serve to define the characters further are seamlessly inserted into the basic mystery/suspense theme. Current news topics, such as the presence of known pedophiles in a community and the problems of childcare in homes with two working parents, help fuel important subplots. The investigatory techniques are all presented intelligently and provide a strong framework for this gripping suspense tale. - Library Journal

15 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

We did a walk this morning that was just short of 2 miles which is back to what we were doing before Patches chewed her foot. Most of it was on an ATV trail that parallels AZ86 that has a lot of sand. Patches did as well on it as she has been doing on pavement so she is much better although she will carry the foot from time to time.

We retraced our steps into the desert yesterday afternoon and went a bit farther than in the dark of the morning. Not very much to see unless you have never been in the Sonora Desert before. Lots of cactus that will have the 'newbie' ooohing and aaahing and busily taking postcard pictures of the saguaros. I think we will take the trail to the north this afternoon and try to go a mile out and back. That will give us a total for the day that is nearly what we were doing a couple weeks ago.

I finished getting the Will Rogers weekly article links prepared for another month. Now it time to start reading the blogs on my Monthly list. I knew there was one missing from that list and finally remembered what it was. Now I have 2-3 months of postings to get current with again.

You read and hear a lot about the divisiveness in Congress and then see it pass the CROmnibus Bill and you know that it is just more smoke and mirrors offered up by the Propaganda Ministry (the Media) in this country. Here is a short article from a time when there were truly two political parties in this country and there was divisiveness between them. Or you could go back to May 22, 1856 in history and read about the cane attack by Brooks on Sumner that polarized national attitudes in the lead up to the Civil War.

Parliamentary Pugilism February 17, 1927
Three fist fights in three days in congress and a near riot in the Massachusetts State House--such is this week's legislative record to date. These may merely be symptoms of red-blooded American conviction; if so, we could wish there were more blue blood in politics. Professional baseball and hockey players are fined or ejected from the game for such an exhibition as Senators Glass and Wheeler put on last Saturday. But both senators hold their seats unmolested.
Walter Lippman in the current "Atlantic Monthly" analyses the causes of American political indifference. He finds that they are based on the facts that the United States is prosperous, therefore uncritical, that the parties do not represent popular interest, that fundamental issues are avoided in politics. He need not have gone so deeply into the question. The spectacle of men who are supposed to represent the interests of a nation acting in a manner which on the street would make them liable to arrest is not edifying. Nor is it surprising that a well-fed public does not pay much attention to them except as objects of amusement. The great danger is that the majesty of the law will suffer from the melee of the legislature.
16 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

The desert walk to the north was a good one yesterday afternoon. It is an out and back route but we detoured a little coming back by following donkey trails and some brush whacking. Even as an out a back there is enough to see that I don't think it will become too boring.

We did a walk this morning that was like yesterday morning, mostly on the ATV trail that parallels AZ86. This time we went east and the trail winds around through the creosote more and is not as sandy.

As soon as we finished our walk it was off to town. First stop was at Marcela's Café the only place that is open early that I could see. It was where I usually had breakfast when I was here in 2011/12 and I will most likely have breakfast there every time I go to town this time also. The food is good as evidenced by 5-6 Pima Country Sheriff officers coming in after I was there. The service was rather slow but I expect it to get better after the waitress sees me a couple of times and starts to think of me as a regular versus just another tourist on the way through town.

Then it was grocery shopping at Olsen's Market Place. This is the best IGA grocery that I have been in throughout my wandering around the western US. They have now expanded it by narrowing the aisles so they could add 2-3 aisles of hardware. That makes for very crowded aisles but I was there early and had no problems. Nothing like what the crowds were at Fry's in the middle of the day.

There has been a lot written in the past week about the plunge in oil prices and what effect that is going to have on financial markets. The shale oil bubble has popped and the financialization that blew the bubble may have the same repercussions as the housing bubble did in 2008. Watch for the first dominoes to fall as they did with Lehman Brothers and AIG.

This is explained very well in The Oil Coup subtitle US-Saudi Subterfuge Send Stocks and Credit Reeling by Mike Whitney at The Unz Review. I have quoted only the closing paragraphs of the article.

The Saudi-led insurgency has reversed the direction of the market, put global stocks into a nosedive and triggered a panic in the credit markets. And while the financial system edges closer to a full-blown crisis every day, policymakers in Washington have remained resolutely silent on the issue, never uttering as much as a peep of protest for a Saudi policy that can only be described as a deliberate act of financial terrorism.
Why is that? Why have Obama and Co. kept their mouths shut while oil prices have plunged, domestic industries have been demolished, and stocks have gone off a cliff? Could it be that they’re actually in cahoots with the Saudis and that it’s all a big game designed to annihilate enemies of the glorious New World Order? It certainly looks that way.
17 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

I made up a pot of baby Lima beans, Swiss chard and ham hocks as soon as we got back to the Park yesterday. Then into the Thermal Cooker until 'linner' time. The 'dish' was disappointing. I had a huge bunch of Swiss chard that cooked down to almost nothing and the Lima beans were not nearly as good as I thought they should be.

The big winner from this latest culinary experiment was Patches. She got half of all the skin from one of the hocks last night and will get the other half tonight. This morning she got the ham hock bone. She didn't have anything to say about the special treats but I think she enjoyed them. She is kind of that way - takes my special efforts for granted.

We got some more rain early this morning. It woke me up this time, maybe around 2:00, although it was not raining hard. There was some standing water again when we went for our morning walk but the ATV route along AZ86 was not muddy.

The closest weather station reported just 0.01" but we received more than that but not as much as the previous rain. It was partly cloudy all day with the chance of more rain and also stayed very cool, in the upper 50s most of the day with the high expected to be 63°. Tomorrow is forecast to be about the same with highs in the 60s through next Monday then up into the 70s again.

Republican Martha McSally, AZ 2nd Congressional District, claimed the last official victory of the 2014 mid-term election. The results were delayed six weeks by a required recount because fewer than 200 votes separated the two candidates out of more than 220,000 cast.

When the recount was ordered McSally had a 161-vote lead, she emerged with a 167-vote margin of victory in results released by the Maricopa County Superior Court. She is now the Representative for the district where I have established my new domicile.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is being criticized for not explaining his vote against Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) constitutional point of order on President Obama’s executive amnesty. Sadly the two Republican Senators from AZ also voted against Cruz but they seem to have dodged the criticism. They are both Establishment Republicans, or what some would call RINOs, that need to be defeated in the next Republican primary or they should run in the Democratic primary.

The Big News of the day is President Obama's prisoner swap with Cuba and what is called "Charting a New Course on Cuba". The prisoner swap was a good deal for Cuba as was the one with the Taliban. The US gave up convicted spies for an USAID contractor in the Cuba exchange and high level terrorist for a possible deserter with the Taliban. Does our President drive a hard bargain or what?

It is the "Charting" that is completely at odds with the Administrations other foreign policy positions. Sanctions have failed to accomplish their objective in Cuba but will do so when applied against Russia? Cuba has becomes all but a 'favored nation' at the stroke of President Obama's famous pen while he is simultaneously trying to impose even more sanctions on Russia. I have quoted only selected portions from the opening paragraphs of the White House Statement. Read it all to find out what the United States is getting out of this "New Course". I did the underlining.

Office of the Press Secretary
December 17, 2014
Fact Sheet: Charting a New Course on Cuba
Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people...It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba. ... Though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, it has had little effect – today, as in 1961, Cuba is governed by the Castros and the Communist party.
We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. We know from hard-learned experience that it is better to encourage and support reform than to impose policies that will render a country a failed state. With our actions today, we are calling on Cuba to unleash the potential of 11 million Cubans by ending unnecessary restrictions on their political, social, and economic activities. In that spirit, we should not allow U.S. sanctions to add to the burden of Cuban citizens we seek to help.
18 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

It started raining again about the time I was posting yesterday. Rained almost steady through our usual afternoon walk. When it stopped I took Patches out for a potty walk and found almost every dog in the Park out there also. We were back in Desperado for only a few minutes when it started raining again. A lot more rain than what we got in the early hours of yesterday; trails looked muddy in the afternoon.

The rain shortened afternoon walk gave me more time to finish the Sandford book that I have been reading. I'll get a review of it posted tomorrow - probably. Started reading another one that has an oil crisis involving all of the same player that are involved currently but this is placed in 1989. Just getting into the story so I don't know what part the crisis plays.

We stayed on the pavement this morning. Did three round trips to the Desert Diamond Casino which was a little over 2 miles and we stayed out of the mud. I think we will try a trail to the west this afternoon. The sun has been shinning enough that I think it will have dried out.

Boko Haram unrest: Nigerian militants 'kidnap 200 villagers' is a BBC on-line story that the Ministry of Propaganda in this country has given short shift. Do you remember the News cycle back in April when the Chibok girls were seized? There was a lot of hand wringing and Michelle appeared with a sorrowful face and a sign "#Bring Back Our Girls".

On 21 May 2014 there was a News story about the United States deploying 80 troops to Chad to augment efforts to find the Nigerian schoolgirls. Since that time the Ministry of Propaganda has been rather silent about what Boko Haram has been doing. What did make the News a couple days ago was that a Nigerian court has condemned 54 soldiers to death by firing squad after they refused to fight Islam militants known as Boko Haram.

This latest abduction was the largest since the "Girls" were kidnapped but it seems that it is no longer News worthy. The more important News is the Sony hack because it directly effected liberals in Hollywood. No sorrowful faced Michelle with a sign #Bring Back Our Villagers this time, no deployment of more US troops - not yet.

In November there was a brief News story about a brouhaha that Nigerian ambassador Adebowale Adefuye touched of when he launched into a tirade against the US administration. He said that Nigerian leaders were "not satisfied with the scope, nature and content of the United States' support for us in our struggle against terrorists".

The United States hit back at the allegations, saying there had been a great deal of US aid to his country. In the past six months since the Islamic militants snatched some 200 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria, Washington has shared intelligence with the Nigerian army, begun training a new battalion and held high-level talks on the threat of Boko Haram. How can the Nigerians NOT be satisfied with that support?

19 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: December 19, 1926

Patches let me sleep in this morning. I have been trying to get up later and have gradually moved our time to get up from 5:30 to 6:15 because it is too dark to walk the ATV trails. This morning she let me sleep until almost 6:30 which is much better.

As soon as I finished breakfast it was domestic chore time. Do laundry again. While I was there I traded the two books that I have read recently for two of an unknown, to me, author. Someone liked the first book by this author, Jean M. Auel, enough that they read a second one. Or, like me, they traded for them based on their thickness and then traded them for something here at this Park. The offerings are very thin here so volume is the determining factor considering what is available.

Al at The Bayfield Bunch posted this in his Groaner's Corner on 16 December 2014.

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.
Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a Planning Department and hired two people: one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.
Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control Department and hired two people: one to do the studies and one to write the reports.
Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created the following positions: a time keeper, and a payroll officer, then hired two people.
Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired three people: an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.
Then Congress said, "We have had this operating for one year and we are $38,000 over budget. We must cutback overall cost."
So they laid off the night watchman.
That is what the IRS plans on doing. They could make cuts by not enforcing the ObamaCare provisions that the law imposed on the IRS. However, that is not what they have in mind, just like when the Sequester was passed they will do everything they can to 'make it hurt' for the public and metaphorically lay off the watchman. IRS Freezes Hiring, Warns of Busy Signals After Budget Cuts by Richard Rubin for Bloomberg.
The IRS is freezing hiring, stopping most overtime pay and warning that it won’t answer about half the calls it will receive during the upcoming tax-filing season.
The spending law signed by President Barack Obama yesterday gives the Internal Revenue Service $10.9 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 3 percent less than last year and 12 percent below the administration’s request.
“We have found substantial efficiencies in recent years, but there is little left to cut without hitting our core service and enforcement operations,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen wrote today in a message to employees. “This year we will have little choice but to do less with less.”
20 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

We took the north ATV trail yesterday afternoon but turned off it just before crossing the mouth of the 'tank'. This is a earth water catchment that was probably built 50 years ago from the size of the brush growing in it an on the banks. Not long before we turned off I met another fellow that was walking his dog. We didn't talk, other than to say our dogs did not make friends quickly.

Where we left the main ATV trail there was a faint double track but it had not been driven in a long time. This took us to a rocky ridge that runs north and south and we went south to get back to the Park. Found a huge Organ Pipe Cactus and maybe its offspring that I took some pictures off. I'll get them posted this weekend with any luck.

We had only moved about 100 yards from the Cactus photo session when Patches picked up a joint of cholla. I was busily trying to get that out of her foot and did not see another fellow, Ken, walk up to us. He was out gathering up sticks to carve and picking up shinny rocks. We had a good visit as we walked back to the Park. He is in the same row as I am but at the west end with me on the east.

After we got back in Desperado I was petting Patches and got stuck by a tubercle of cholla that was sticking into her side. She had probably picked that up at the same time that she got the joint in her foot and never said a word, never tried to get it out and walk over a half mile with it sticking in her side. Tough Dog!

leftpic This was my third Prey Series book. The first two Eyes of Prey reviewed on 5 November 2014 and the second Chosen Prey reviewed on 5 December 2014 disclosed the villain and the story was how Lucas went about catching him. That formula held true once again. However, I did not like this book as well as the first two. The formula just didn't fit as well with the multi-villains and the story did not seem to hold together as well. I have one more of his books in my unread library and will pick up another if I get the chance for they are good entertainment.

The title tells it true, and applies not only to myriad characters in Sandford's electrifying eighth "Prey" thriller, but also to the novel's readers. From the opening scene, in which series hero, Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport, and his team stalk and kill a female bank robber, the story will clamp down like a bear trap on all who open its covers. That robber is Davenport's prey, but those beloved by the cop and his men become prey in turn when the slain thief's husband, Dick LaChaise, and his two sidekicks, all ex-bikers with militia mentalities, vow revenge unto death. Davenport, who in his spare time designs computer games that have made him wealthy, soon learns two disturbing facts: that suicidal enemies are close to unstoppable, and that his addiction to this real-life "game" is powerful enough to put even his loved ones at risk. Further problems ensue from the dangerous presence of a crooked cop, and from the refusal by Davenport's lover, a dedicated surgeon, to take up Davenport's offer to seclude her safely. The stakes are high, the characters rich, the action relentless-here's a thriller that will make your hair stand on end. - Publishers Weekly

21 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

The Ferguson and New York City police protesters got what they wanted:
“What do we want? Dead cops!”
If President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Rev Sharpton and Rev Jackson want a race war they may get it.

Patches and I walked just a little over 5 miles yesterday. The afternoon walk being the longer and harder of the two. We went out the east ATV trail for about a mile which placed us on the east side of the north-south ridge. There we turned northwest thru an Organ Pipe cactus stand to go over a saddle in the ridge that was a gradual slope on the east side but a VERY steep, rock choked draw on the west side. Upon reaching the desert floor again we walked south parallel to the ridge until we reached the ATV trail and then home.

no pic no pic no pic

The first two pictures were taken from the ridge saddle. The one on the left shows Hickiwan Trails RV Park without any zoom. The one in the center is using my maximum 5x zoom. It was late in the day before the shortest daylight day of the year so the shadows were long and the sun was nearing the horizon. I did some cropping and tweaked the light some but the pictures are a fairly good representation of what I saw.
The picture on the right was also taken from the saddle at the same time as the others. It is using maximum 5x zoom also that centers on Coyote Howls Campground & RV Park - East. You can see the The New Cornelia open pit mine tailings in the background which is just outside Ajo, Az. That is about 10 miles away from where I was standing.

no pic no pic no pic

These three pictures I took last Friday. The pictures of the Organ Pipe cactus on the left and right are the same cactus just a different view of it. This was the first one that I saw here and was the first one that I have seen outside of Organ Pipe National Park. There are a lot more on the east side of the ridge, this is one of the few that I have seen on the west side. The center picture is of a much younger Organ Pipe that most likely is a sprog of the big one and was about 200' south and a little west of it.

Students agree to deport Americans in exchange for illegal immigrants by Maggie Lit for Campus Reform reports how two thirds of the students, when asked, at George Washington University signed this petition. I can only hope that those that signed are the ones chosen for deportation but I don't think that idea will be acted upon. However, if President Obama could in some way identify Tea Party members - maybe just randomly select people from their rallies?
Please sign our petition for President Obama to deport one American citizen, in exchange for one undocumented immigrant,” read the petition. “Everyone must be allowed a shot at the ‘American Dream.’ Americans should not be greedy. Let us right the wrongs of our past and make another’s dreams come true.
22 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

Ferguson, MO last night. Protestors cheering the murder of two NYP cops:
The murderous chant went as follows:
Pigs In A Blanket. Fry ‘Em Like Bacon. Fry ‘Em Like What? Fry ‘Em Like Bacon.
I have not read that President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Rev Sharpton or Rev Jackson have condemned the protesters for their hate speech. It is also telling that the Ministry of Propaganda is NOT reporting this story, only alternative online web sites.

People here in the Park are doing the 'space shuffle'. The two Class A's that had me sandwiched moved yesterday morning. They are now side by side west of me with a space between me a the larger of the two. Then this morning the big Class C that has been in the space to my southeast was moved so that a 5th Wheel could get into the space next to me on the east.

I don't think the fellow could back the 5th Wheel into the space. It was therefore necessary to move the Class C so he could pull straight in by driving over part of the Class Cs patio and where it had been.

Then a second 5th Wheel was backed into the space where the Class C had been. This one has two Border Collie herding type looking dogs that waited patiently in their cages while all this moving in was going on for about two hours. Patches was intent on checking on all the activity but she remained quiet which I think makes her - Good Dog.

As soon as we finished our walk this morning I pulled the plug on the electric and took off for the 'town' of Why, AZ. There is not much of a town but there is now Granny's Kitchen where I had breakfast this morning. I had her Huevos con Chorizo with a very satisfying serving of home fries and some good coffee. That is going to be be second breakfast place while I am here.

Then continued on to Ajo and Olsen's Market. They had almost everything that I wanted but I had to settle for two small containers of egg whites rather than a large one and red potatoes versus yellow. Much more expensive as is almost everything when shopping in small out of the way grocery stores.

I put the hamburger that I had bought in a skillet to brown off as soon as I got back to the Park. That went into my Roaster with some diced onion, two small cans of creamed corn, 32 oz of frozen mixed vegetables and all covered with mashed potatoes containing real butter. That will cook in the Roaster for about an hour at 375-400° - my version of a Shepherd Pie.

I was a little late getting to read my Daily blogs and checking out the News. Too much fun watching my new neighbors get set up! I'm always a little late when I go shopping and then cook my 'linners' for the week and mix up a batch of dessert that lasts 3 days. I'll catch up.

Do you remember my posting on 9 October 2014 when I said: What I don’t understand is why the Treasury borrowed more than what is claimed to be the Deficit? It looks like the Treasury is borrowing almost $600 Billion that is being spent ‘off budget’ or is there something I am overlooking?

I think I have found a partial answer to my question. The Federal Reserve added $344 Billion in Treasury Debt to their balance sheet from 29 October 2013 to 30 October 2014. This did not add to the Federal Budget Deficit because the additional borrowed money was not spent it was just added to the money supply.

It is only a guess, but I think the other almost $300 Billion in borrowing was to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They are government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) but the Federal government took them over during the financial melt down of 2008 and they are now off-budget federal entities, meaning that they are excluded from budgeting rules and not included in the Federal Budget Deficit.

My guess is based on the $324 Billion increase in Mortgage Backed Securities held by the Federal Reserve. This additional borrowing by the Treasury flowed through the GSEs and once again did not show as part of the Federal Budget Deficit but did increase the money supply.

23 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

There is one columnist that agrees with me, or I with him. What the War on Cops Has Wrought by Pat Buchanan for Unz Review is an article that I would have written if I had the skill. I am quoting only a very select portion of what he said.

And here is where the moral culpability of de Blasio, Holder, Al Sharpton and President Obama lies. They gave aid and comfort to the cop-haters and cop-baiters.
When did any of these four speak up or speak out to denounce the blocking of squares, highways, bridges, tunnels, shops and stores, from New York to the Mall of America?
When did they denounce the protesters for their hateful anti-police rhetoric? When did they demand that these mobs go home and respect the rule of law and decisions of the grand jury, even if they disagreed?
I think I have developed the routes that I'll be walking while we are here. The mornings will be repetitive but since we do about half the walk in the dark it does not bother me so much. Time to think.

The afternoon walks will be out along one of the three ATV trails and then loop back thru the desert. The desert here is reasonably open so there is not a lot of bushwhacking. There is a lot of weaving around said brush but that keeps the walk interesting and I let Patches chose the way much of the time with me just providing the general direction.

We had a bit of a dust up yesterday afternoon when exiting Desperado to go on our walk. The two neighbor dogs were in their cages about 15' from the door and when Patches came out they started to bark. She took exception to that since she was at her 'home' and responded in kind. I noticed that the cages and dogs had been moved by the time we returned.

WOW! That is all I can say about the story U.S. Economy Grew 5% in Third Quarter, Its Fastest Rate in More Than a Decade by Nelson D. Schwartz for The New York Times. The author has taken the Administration's numbers and wrapped them up in some glittery paper, added a nice big bow and set it under the tree as a present for a gullible America public. The opening paragraphs say it all.
The American economy grew last quarter at its fastest rate in more than a decade, providing the strongest evidence to date that the recovery is finally gaining sustained power more than five years after it began.
Bolstered by robust spending among consumers and businesses alike, economic output rose at an annual rate of 5 percent during the summer months, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, a sharp revision from its earlier estimate of 3.9 percent. The advance followed a second quarter where growth reached a rate of 4.6 percent after a decline last winter that was exacerbated by particularly harsh weather.
The revision was led by an upswing in investment by businesses, a force for growth in most economic recoveries but one that has lagged in the latest rebound. Higher consumer spending and a healthier trade balance also helped. The gain makes the third quarter the strongest since the summer of 2003.
There are some doubters however. If you do not feel that the 3rd Qtr 2014 economy was as strong as the summer of 2003 (that was during the terrible economic years when George W. Bush was president) then I suggest that you go to Zero Hedge and read Exposing The Deception: How The US Economy "Grew" By $140 Billion As Americans Became Poorer.

24 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

I thought it was a temporary thing with my new neighbor to the east until they got moved in and 'settled'. It seems that it was not temporary, they are now settled; the place to park their truck is on a diagonal in front of my patio and where I would egress from my space. I can still get out if I turn to the left to get around the tail end of their truck but that would then make me do a three point turn if I wanted to go right.

I complained to the Park office this morning. Explained my problem and offered to let the neighbor park his ATV and/or motorcycle in front of my patio so I can get in and out. Our culture implicitly states that the person that has the most toys can park them on the property of someone else so I was going to offer that up as a solution to my problem.

I didn't complain to the office about their hanging ornaments and a bird feeder on the tree that is part of my patio. It is only fair that they should do so, their patio does not have a tree and they had the ornaments and the bird feeder. What else could they to do?

The Park 'manager' came and had a talk with my neighbors around 9:30 and the truck has been moved. It is now parked in front of their 5th Wheel where there was room to do so but parking in front of my space was probably more convenient.

I'm not sure what the low temperature was this morning. The reporting station that I rely on for historical data is in Gila Bend which reported a low of 38°. I am about 1,000' higher in elevation than that station so it was probably a few degrees colder than that. There was no wind until after we finished our walk which was a good thing since it did not warm up very quickly and was still below 60 at noon. We are in for some colder weather per the 10 Day Forecast; highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 30s. Still pretty nice compared to much of the country.

I finished reading a Forsyth book yesterday and will get a review posted soon. I took it to the Park exchange library, such as it is, and got a Jean M. Auel in trade. I now have the first three of her Earth's Children Series that someone here in the Park is buying, reading and leaving them for trade. I may have the series of six by the time I leave but don't know if I'm going to like them or not. They are speculative alternative historical fiction novels which is a literary genre that I have not much read.

I let my TracFone lapse and when I tried to reactivate it online I was having little success in doing so. I sent TracFone an email describing my problem and asked for help. Received a reply in just a little over 24 hours that said I should call an 800 number between the hours of bla, bla, bla. I sent a reply to their reply that said IF I could call the 800 number I would not have the problem for which I am requesting help - DUH. They answered that email with the helpful advice that I call an 800 number between the hours of bla, bla, bla. Also wanted me to take a survey about their customer service - I responded to the survey!

I was able to reactive the account yesterday and buy another 90 days of service and more minutes that I will never use. I have a lot of carry over minutes that I will never use, I don't need more. I think I now have service available here at this location but will not know for certain until I need to make a telephone call, which is seldom.

25 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

Merry Christmas!

Patches and I celebrated the day as we celebrate almost every day. Our routine is a comfort for Patches I know and probably for me also or I would not make it a routine. Patches does not know that some days are Holidays and if I didn't have calendars, watches and the Internet I wouldn't either.

The Park is having a Pot Luck Christmas Dinner which is de rigueur for commercial RV Parks and for RV Groups. I will give it a pass. I went to them my first two years on the road as a Fulltimer so I think I have paid my dues and need not attend any more.

Patches has learned that I don't like for her to bark at dogs that are walking past her home. I do let her whine a bit and that has become her way to sound the alert that a dog may be broaching her line of tolerance. When she started her whine alert this morning I looked to see what was approaching and saw that it was a coyote.

This coyote was very intent on getting to something in the Park and came very close and then would back away. He coursed back and forth along the line of RV rigs for over 15 minutes and was not spooked by my presence or a couple other people that came out to see him. I got a couple of pictures that I'll maybe post tomorrow if they are posting worthy.

I built three replacement maps for Road Trip 5 today; that leave four more to complete that Trip. Haven't done any for a couple of weeks or more so it was a little like starting over - I had to be retrained. They were not too complicated so it went well. The really difficult ones are when there is a mix of Interstate and non-Interstate where AIP Maps do not like to follow the route that I drove.

leftpic I think this is the first Forsyth book that I have read. If I have read another one of his it was a long time ago. The Weekly found the book set up to be wearisome but I disagree and found it enjoyable reading. I also enjoyed his descriptions of all the Dutch and Belgian road maps as well as those in England, France, Corsica and Germany. I do agree that the best parts of the book were the negotiations and the cliffhanging ending. I liked Quinn and would like to read more of his exploits but I don't think Forsyth used him in his other books. That will not keep me from picking up another one of his if I see one.

The reader almost despairs of a story getting under way in Forsyth's latest: the situation takes so long to set up, and is mired in such wearisome detail. Finally, after it has been made clear that both a renegade Soviet military group and a fanatical Texan oil baron plan to take over an oil-rich Middle Eastern state for their different twisted reasons, the action begins. The son of the American president (who is about to sign a major arms agreement with Gorbachev himself) is kidnapped, and, despite the best efforts of Quinn, the negotiator, is killed at the very moment of his ransoming. The president is stricken, a takeover of the U.S. government looms, and it looks as if the treaty is doomed. Now it is up to Quinn to find out who was behind the crime, and why. With a plucky and pretty female FBI agent, he scours obscure corners of northern Europe for the perpetrators--always to find them dead just as he arrives. In a cliffhanger of a conclusion, he brings the guilt home to Washington, the president perks up and the world is saved. As always, Forsyth is good at the details (you learn more about Dutch and Belgian road maps than you probably ever wanted to know), keeps a few surprises up his sleeve and writes action scenes more crisply, and with less gore, than Ludlum. But his characterization is flat, and much of The Negotiator is terribly familiar. By far the best parts are the negotiations for the ransoming of the president's son, which generate real tension. - Publishers Weekly

26 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: December 26, 1926

I had a nice quiet Christmas. My neighbors took their toys for a run in the desert, hopefully on the ATV trails, so they were gone for much of the afternoon. About the time they returned Patches and I went for our walk to the east and then north along the foot of the ridge.

We were intersected by another desert walker on his way to the ridge to seek out some crystals. A young fellow that I would guess to be in university and here with his parents during Winter Break (at one time that was Christmas Break but separation of church and state plus political correctness has re-defined the term). He spoke intelligently, used complete sentences and avoided 'like' or 'you know' ever 3-4th word.

His costume was a bit bizarre in this 'ol farts opinion but what do I know about proper dress for a young man in the 21st century. His shirt and pants were conventional but the pant legs were rolled up to knicker length. I was a bit disappointed that he was not wearing argyle knicker socks and full leather hiking boots to complete the 'look'.

He had what looked to be a woven wool flat bag hanging over his neck at his side (the bag looked like what I got in Bulgaria that I called my Rhodope Bag). On his head was a beret type cap and in his ears were some small buttons/studs. I can not say this with any certainty but I would say he was a late Generation Y or a Millennial male (whatever that might be). The Millennial overlaps the Y and gets all the media notice so they would probably call him a Millennial.

I didn't feel up to doing our usual 2 mile morning walk. Did two circuits up and back to the Casino which resulted in a total of 1.5 miles and called that enough. I felt cold all the time we were walking and even after firing up the Wave heater inside I felt cold. The reason for that could be that it was colder if the 33° low recorded at my closest station was any indication of what the low was here.

leftpic rightpic These were the two best pictures that I was able to get of the coyote that visited us yesterday morning. I took all of them in early light at my maximum 5x zoom and then cropped to get what you see. Not great photography but I do like the one that I got with him sitting and surveying his domain. I think it was probably a couple morning ago when it was still very dark that I saw him, or one of his pack, cross the Park road coming out of the RV rigs and going toward the desert. I strongly suspect that someone is leaving food out and he is stopping by for breakfast.

Obama: Putin is no chess master by Jeremy Diamond for CNN on 21 December 2014 quoted President Obama as saying:

There was a spate of stories about how he is the chess master and outmaneuvering the West and outmaneuvering Mr. Obama and this and that and the other. And right now, he's presiding over the collapse of his currency, a major financial crisis and a huge economic contraction. That doesn't sound like somebody who has rolled me or the United States of America.
But Nicole Goodkind in Putin is winning the oil war: Katusa for Yahoo Finance on 24 December 2014 disagrees with what the President said. Or maybe I should say that he has written an article about what Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War,” and chief energy investment strategist at Casey Research has said.

There are a lot of other analyst that agree with Katusa. It is only the Ministry of Propaganda that think their Messiah Obama is going to bring Putin to heel with his Sanctions War. What the 'smartest man in the room' has managed to do is create a stronger Russian and Chinese relationship. If the Saudi Arabia and US 'oil deal' to drop prices is true he has also popped the the oil fracking bubble in the US, done great damage to the UK oil industry and delivered a killing blow to Venezuela's economy.
Katusa believes that falling oil prices will eventually give Russia the upper hand and deeply injure the U.S. energy industry. The falling ruble makes Russian oil less expensive and more desirable to other countries—Russia also produces oil quite cheaply while the American shale industry has a larger cost of operation. Russia is more than able to weather the current storm, Katusa says. “They have a $200 billion a year trade surplus. They have over $400 billion in reserve currency. They’ve increased their gold reserve. They have much lower debt to their GDP than America. So yes there’s pain in the economy… [but] it's far from terminal.”
27 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

I finished building replacement maps for Road Trp 5 yesterday. The map screen shots that I had taken before continue numerically in Bike Trip 1 so that will be my next project. I'll replace those and then see where I go from there.

We went for our afternoon walk to the east and turned south to intersect, and loop back on, the ATV trail that follows the fence line along AZ86 on the north side. Just as I was turning south I met another desert walker. John is from Maine but has a winter home in Mesa, AZ and also a Class A that he just bought this past summer which he will use to get back and forth between homes and also do some 'part timing'. We had a good chat when he agreed to walk back to the Park with me. Only here for a week but we may cross paths again.

leftpic I think this is the fifth J. A. Jance book that I have read. I enjoy her Joanna Brady Series the best because she uses Cochise County Arizona as the background location. I did not review it but made note of completing what I think was one in the Brady Series on 12 April 2011. But I did identify Skeleton Canyon from that Series as being read on 6 December 2012. Then did not identify the title but reasonably sure it was Hand of Evil from the Ali Reynolds Series, which is located in central Arizona, on 11 February 2011. I think I have also read one from her J.P. Beaumont Series that is located in Seattle, WA. All of these are well written and provide good reading entertainment but the Weekly's 'middling' assessment is probably not too severe. I don't find her books very often but do have one more in my unread library at this time. Always good to find another.

In bestseller Jance's middling fifth Ali Reynolds thriller (after Cruel Intent), the ex–TV journalist takes over a media-relations job at the county police department in her hometown of Sedona, Ariz., after the previous flack is sent on administrative leave for misconduct. Soon after being fitted for the mandatory Kevlar vest, Ali goes to the site of a subdivision fire that has left an unidentified woman in critical condition. All signs point to arson, but the fire's amnesia-ridden survivor is the only one who knows the truth. With the help of a hospital nurse who's also a nun, Ali—mostly undercover in a red wig in the hospital's burn unit waiting room—slowly pieces together the victim's identity and her relationship to the fire. That Ali is essentially cast as a stenographer, surreptitiously transcribing the conversations of those visiting the victim's room, narrows the window for heart-racing action. A desert shoot-out tacked on toward the end adds some excitement. - Publishers Weekly

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, more commonly referred to as The Wealth of Nations, should be required reading for ALL our politicians. That will never happen although there may come a day that the reading of Das Kapital by Karl Marx is required.

I am going to serialize a portion of his conclusion to Book I - Of the Causes of Improvement in the Productive Powers of Labour, and of the Order According to Which its Produce is Partially Distributed Among the Different Ranks of the People. His language is a bit archaic but I think you can understand what he is saying. I want you to pay particular attention to what he has to say about self interest of the three 'orders' or what we call classes.

This first installment identifies the different ranks of people that he will discuss in the Summary. Smith speaks of the "revenue that of every other order is ultimately derived". In our modern Socialist times there is the one 'order' that I will call 'dependents' that I have included in my discussion of his Summary.

The whole annual produce of the land and labour of every country, or, what comes to the same thing, the whole price of that annual produce, naturally divides itself, it has already been observed, into three parts; the rent of land, the wages of labour, and the profits of stock; and constitutes a revenue to three different orders of people; to those who live by rent, to those who live by wages, and to those who live by profit. These are the three great, original, and constituent, orders of every civilized society, from whose revenue that of every other order is ultimately derived.

28 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

The idiot light for my gray water holing tank has shown full for the past few days (the black water tank light shows full all the time) so I knew that I should dump yesterday. I checked again yesterday morning and the fresh water tank was showing only one quarter remaining which is also a sign that it is time to dump tanks. I looked in the shower and saw that water from the gray water tank was backing up. Dump tanks now!

I waited until noon to go out and take care of that chore but that was still too soon. There was a little wind blowing and it was still only about 50°. It felt even colder than that when I was in the shade. Very cold morning which I'm guessing was a little below freezing. I plugged in my basement heater and will leave it hooked up for the rest of the time that I am here. Winter has arrived with about half of the 10 Day Forecast expected high temperatures to be in the 50s.

I traded the J. A. Jance book at the Park library yesterday afternoon and the book that I wanted to pick up was gone. I settled for a new to me author that offered up a lot of volume so that is fine - I'll read anything.

We did circuits to the Casino again this morning and will walk the ATV trail on the south side of AZ86 in the afternoon. Yesterday afternoon we went west a little farther than what we have been doing in the mornings and I'll try to do the same today when we go east. The variety of walks that are available to me are very nice here.

As soon as we finished our walk and Patches had her breakfast I unplugged both electric cords and checked the basement heater. It did not seem to be working nor had it worked. When I got back from shopping I verified that the 20 amp circuit was not working and told the Park office about the failure. The 'electrician' that is staying here at the Park stopped by around noon and installed a new 20 amp outlet. I think I am now prepared for colder weather.

I went first to Granny's Kitchen again and had their Huevos a la Mexicana which was not as good as their Chorizo breakfast. The home fries was still very good as was the coffee. The shopping trip to Olsen's Market also went well except for the size cans of hominy that were available. I could get four #300 cans (7 cups), which was the same as the two #2 1/2 ones (7 cups) that I wanted or I could get a huge #10 can (12 cups). Still had to get two small egg whites versus the one large container. They do not carry Greek God yogurt but they do have a couple brands of Greek yogurt that is vanilla flavored which is fine I can live without the honey but need the vanilla.

I have one 'linner' left of my Shepherds Pie but I made up a pot of Chicken Pozole for this next week when we got back from shopping. Nothing special just browned off diced chicken breast, chicken broth, chopped jalapeño, diced onion, hominy and a couple big dabs of menudo seasoning. It will cook in the Thermal Cooker for the rest of today.

The second in my series of postings quoting from the Summery of Book I The Wealth of Nations discusses the interests of those that live by rent. We would probably think of this class as those that receive passive income from prior investments or inheritance. The idle rich. There are also a portion of the 'dependents' that need to be added here because they also receive passive income. Theirs comes from the revenue generated by the other three orders of people and redistributed to them. The idle dependents.

The interest of the first of those three great orders, it appears from what has been just now said, is strictly and inseparably connected with the general interest of the society. Whatever either promotes or obstructs the one, necessarily promotes or obstructs the other. When the public deliberates concerning any regulation of commerce or police, the proprietors of land never can mislead it, with a view to promote the interest of their own particular order; at least, if they have any tolerable knowledge of that interest. They are, indeed, too often defective in this tolerable knowledge. They are the only one of the three orders whose revenue costs them neither labour nor care, but comes to them, as it were, of its own accord, and independent of any plan or project of their own. That indolence which is the natural effect of the ease and security of their situation, renders them too often, not only ignorant, but incapable of that application of mind, which is necessary in order to foresee and understand the consequence of any public regulation.

29 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

My closest reporting weather station shows a low of 34° this morning. This is from a weather station that is closer than the one I was using before and is at the same elevation so that should be what I experienced. The expected high temperature for today will be only 60 but it is forecast to be worse on Wednesday - Thursday with a high of 52, low at 33 and a 60% chance of rain. Happy New Year.

Not doing much today. Some time on the couch reading with Patches to keep me warm. Have done some work on building a My Map for Camps in 2015. Also changing how many of My Maps appear in the left column of the home page to make it open faster.

The assumed crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 has been reported but not with the fervor that accompanied Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Flight 370 become a continuing soap opera for CNN that lasted weeks and other TV networks almost as much. It appears that Flight 8501 has been met with only slightly more than a yawn. I guess the Ministry of Propaganda has not completed their work on police racial relations yet.

Don't Just Follow the Money--Follow the Income by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds. com is a good article that points out what I have written about before. Namely the disparity between the Budget Deficit and the increase in total Federal Debt. These quotes are from his closing paragraphs (my underlining).

So when you read about ever-rising corporate profits, ask if that's pro forma or actual net income. When the government claims its deficits are declining, check whether its debts are rising faster than the media is reporting...But lies are no substitute for truth and fantasy is no substitute for reality. The erosion of net income will eventually matter, maybe not in six years but within six months.
The third in my series of postings quoting from the Summery of Book I The Wealth of Nations discusses the interests of those that live by wages of labor. This order of people is what we euphemistically now call the middle class which includes the self employed that Smith would have included in his third order. There are also a portion of the 'dependents' included here; they receive wages that come from the revenue generated by the other three orders of people and are redistributed to them. They receive wages but do not generate any revenue. The bureaucrat dependents.

The interest of the second order, that of those who live by wages, is as strictly connected with the interest of the society as that of the first. The wages of the labourer, it has already been shewn, are never so high as when the demand for labour is continually rising, or when the quantity employed is every year increasing considerably. When this real wealth of the society becomes stationary, his wages are soon reduced to what is barely enough to enable him to bring up a family, or to continue the race of labourers. When the society declines, they fall even below this. The order of proprietors may perhaps gain more by the prosperity of the society than that of labourers; but there is no order that suffers so cruelly from its decline. But though the interest of the labourer is strictly connected with that of the society, he is incapable either of comprehending that interest, or of understanding its connexion with his own. His condition leaves him no time to receive the necessary information, and his education and habits are commonly such as to render him unfit to judge, even though he was fully informed. In the public deliberations, therefore, his voice is little heard, and less regarded; except upon particular occasions, when his clamour is animated, set on, and supported by his employers, not for his, but their own particular purposes.

30 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

Not much happening today. When we went for our afternoon walk yesterday we came across four donkeys in the desert. I have been seeing tracks everywhere that I have walked so I knew they were out there but this was the first herd that I have found. There were six come past the Park the first week I was here but I don't count them as being found in the desert.

I could hear them braying this morning as I have a few times before. This time it sounded like it was coming from a long distance to the north. A couple mornings ago they were much closer. These are not pet donkeys that are described as wild that can be found in Custer State Park or the streets of Oatman, AZ where they beg for treats. These are truly wild donkeys that act more like wild deer.

Another neighbor moved in directly behind me on my south side yesterday. They seem to be part of a group with the other two neighbors. All have their ATV toys which they take out individually or in a convoy to drive the desert trails. Get together in the late afternoon, about the time we return from our walk, for a Happy Hour and tell each other what they did together all day.

The Outlook for the New Year by Paul Craig Roberts focuses mostly on the Sanction War that the US and EU are waging against Russia. He also discusses how the relations between Russia and China are now much more than simply economic. But, I have copied only the paragraphs that suggest what could be done next year by Russia-China to defeat the US in the economic war that the US has declared. I am surprised that Mr. Roberts is still among us; I would have thought President Omaba would have 'droned', or 'disappeared', him long ago.

As the US and EU are conducting economic warfare against Russia, Russia could claim that by wrecking the Russian economy the West has deprived Russia of the ability to repay loans to the European banks. If this does not bring down the thinly capitalized EU banks, Russia can announce that as NATO countries are now officially recognized by Russian war doctrine as an enemy of the Russian state, Russia can no longer support NATO’s aggression against Russia by selling natural gas to NATO members. If the shutdown of much of European industry, rapidly rising rates of unemployment, and bank failures do not result in the dissolution of NATO and thus the end of the threat, the Chinese can act.
The Chinese hold a very large amount of dollar-denominated financial assets. Just as the Federal Reserve’s agents, the bullion banks, dump massive shorts onto the bullion futures markets during periods of little activity in order to drive down the bullion price, China can dump the equivalent in US Treasuries of years of Quantitative Easing in a few minutes. If the Federal Reserve quickly creates dollars with which to purchase the enormous quantity of Treasuries so that the financial house of cards does not implode, the Chinese can then dump the dollars that they are paid for the bonds in the currency market. Whereas the Federal Reserve can print dollars with which to purchase the Treasuries, the Fed cannot print foreign currencies with which to buy the dollars.
The dollar would collapse, and with it the power of the Hegemon. The war would be over without a shot or missile fired.
The fourth, and final, in my series of postings quoting from the Summery of Book I The Wealth of Nations discusses the interests of those that live by profit. Within the culture of today this order of people are the 'movers and shakers'. They control the businesses that employ those that live by wages. The final portion of the 'dependents' are included here; they receive wages that come from the revenue generated by the other three orders of people which they redistributed to the idle and bureaucrat dependents as well as themselves. They receive wages but do not generate any revenue. The elite dependents.

His employers constitute the third order, that of those who live by profit. It is the stock that is employed for the sake of profit, which puts into motion the greater part of the useful labour of every society. The plans and projects of the employers of stock regulate and direct all the most important operation of labour, and profit is the end proposed by all those plans and projects. But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin. The interest of this third order, therefore, has not the same connexion with the general interest of the society, as that of the other two. Merchants and master manufacturers are, in this order, the two classes of people who commonly employ the largest capitals, and who by their wealth draw to themselves the greatest share of the public consideration. As during their whole lives they are engaged in plans and projects, they have frequently more acuteness of understanding than the greater part of country gentlemen. As their thoughts, however, are commonly exercised rather about the interest of their own particular branch of business. than about that of the society, their judgment, even when given with the greatest candour (which it has not been upon every occasion), is much more to be depended upon with regard to the former of those two objects, than with regard to the latter. Their superiority over the country gentleman is, not so much in their knowledge of the public interest, as in their having a better knowledge of their own interest than he has of his. It is by this superior knowledge of their own interest that they have frequently imposed upon his generosity, and persuaded him to give up both his own interest and that of the public, from a very simple but honest conviction, that their interest, and not his, was the interest of the public. The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market, and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can only serve to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

31 December
Hickiwan Trails RV Park
Why, AZ
no pic

I heard it start raining this morning at about 5:00. Wasn't raining very hard and just short showers which had stopped by the time we got up. It did not look like it was clearing and the ATV trails were probably muddy so we did a couple of circuits to the Casino which kept us on pavement or gravel. Made it back to Desperado without getting a drop of rain on us but it showered again within 10 minutes of our return.

It was not very cold when we went out for our walk but the temperature dropped after that. It was colder at 9:00 (39°) than it was at 6:30 (46°), I had to make a fire in the Wave heater. We have also had on and off showers all day. The forecast is that it will clear somewhat this afternoon but the high temperature for the day was expected to be 45 with freezing temperature the next couple of mornings.

leftpic rightpic Our walk yesterday afternoon was out the north ATV trail for slightly over a mile then over the northern end of the ridge and diagonally back to Desperado thru the desert. Came upon another donkey herd, five this time, and I was able to get some pictures. Patches barked at the first herd so the picture on the left was all I got. The one on the right is the best of four that I was able to take without Patches barking and they were a little closer.

Things To Do In 2015 When You’re Not Yet Dead by Raúl Ilargi Meijer at covers a lot of ground but the opening two paragraphs are what got my attention. How true!

America has managed to construct an entirely one-dimensional political system. There’s no discernible difference left between left and right, other than in spin language pre-cooked for the sole purpose of faking the concept of elections...What once was a proud American democracy has been turned into a circus that rolls into town every four years, filled with clowns that pretend to fight each other with over the top grotesque contraptions, but sleep in the same bed once the show is over and the audience has gone home.